News and views from the award-winning author of the Class H Trilogy: AMERICA LIBRE, HOUSE DIVIDED and PANCHO LAND

Monday, April 28, 2008

Virginia’s Prince William County legalizes bigotry

Last year, the Board of County Supervisors in Virginia’s Prince William County enacted a series of statutes that included a mandatory immigration status check of anyone questioned by the police. This would include even someone stopped for a minor traffic violation. In addition, the county leaders sought to deny any type of public services to illegal immigrants, (this despite the fact that illegal immigrants cannot obtain welfare or food stamps anywhere in the United States.)


Any doubts about the intent of these measures were erased in a statement by the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. "The resolution is clearly working. It is driving down the non-English-speaking portion of the schools and saving us millions of dollars,” Republican Corey A. Stewart told the Washington Post on April 28, 2008.


In other words, the real reason behind this law was never to crack down on illegal immigrants. As Mr. Stewart plainly stated, the law is successful because it is “driving down the non-English-speaking portion of the schools.” Could Mr. Stewart’s intent be any clearer? The leaders of Prince William County don’t just resent illegal immigrants. They want to be rid of anyone who doesn’t speak English, legal or not.


It’s hard to imagine a more blatant example of bigotry made into law.


Raul Ramos y Sanchez